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The Story of Us Continues We first began reporting on trends in 2009, during


a time when it seemed as though our world had fallen apart. Yet as we picked up the pieces, we rediscovered the meaning of home and the importance of family and friends. During that year and throughout 2010, the design emphasis was on comfortable spaces where we could build and nurture relationships. We were creating places to connect. Early 2011 trend reports show that the emphasis on


relationships remains strong and our desire for connection grows deeper. Turning to our roots for inspiration, we are using design to connect to tradition, to culture, to simplicity and to nature:


Connecting to Culture


Tis design trend is the place where ancient craſt and modern living meet. Heavily influenced by ethnic patterns, motifs and indigenous art, Connecting to Culture is expressive and full of vitality. Colors are rich and earthy, like the natural dyes used in ethnic textiles and carpets. Designs are elemental, rather than specifically geographic, which means that materials, colors, textures and mood takes precedence over theme. Tis frees us to play with multi-layering, mixed patterns and to combine treasures with the everyday. In this category look for reinterpretations of traditional construction and weaving techniques reinterpreted with modern materials, similar to the craſt resurgence of the 1960s.


Connecting to Tradition


A tradition is a custom or belief that is handed down from generation to generation. Tis design trend replaces short- lived fashions with quality, longevity and significance. Characterized by classic styles, real craſtsmanship and attention to detail, the look is elegant and understated. Other adjectives include soſt, clean, pared down. Natural materials such as wood and stone are favored. Textiles, wallpapers and carpet, are highly tactile, inviting touch. Tis sensual appeal makes it clear that this is a design for living. Connecting to Tradition most certainly does not mean living in a museum.


Connecting to Simplicity


Just as Connecting to Tradition marks a step away from short-lived fashions, Connecting Simplicity


to


step away the


is a from


superfluous.


Tis design trend comes


from a


reevaluation of what is really important. Simplicity stands for honesty in design, accessibility and an invitation to use. Universal design elements, such as wider doorways and lipless showers, are important, especially as baby boomers choose to age in place. Other design considerations include ease of maintenance and operation. Te look, which embraces the humble and handmade, can be described as artisanal. Interest in Craſtsman and Shaker styles, which began to emerge two years ago, will continue to rise. Look for recycled and repurposed furniture and accessories. And expect to see the work of local artisans get wider attention.


Besty Dell, is a writer, editor and marketing consultant in the Sacramento area. 34 www.House2HomeShowcase.com


Designed2Connect Connecting to Nature


Tis design trend is characterized by natural materials, organic shapes and fibers that echo the raw beauty of nature. Te operative word here is raw. People are looking for distinctive, individualistic furniture and accessories that are marked by imperfection rather than perfection.


A new interest in craſts from the past, including milling, wicker-weaving and iron work is evolving. Connecting to Nature places a strong emphasis on sustainability, while seeking


to create a


soothing and healthy living environment.


While we have discussed these four areas of connection individually, it is important to understand that they are directional and, therefore, not mutually exclusive. You should, accordingly, see a great deal of overlap between the categories of connection. Each connects to history and to the world we live in. Each also seeks comfort and significance through natural materials and craſtsmanship. Tese similarities override differences. Trends point to more than design direction. Tey point to our values as we respond to a changing world. Te current trends reflect an opening up to a world that is bigger than the immediate while we reflect on what really matters. Te key for 2011 design—from furniture and furnishings to renovations and remodels—is substance. In all home improvements, regardless of their nature, we will see these four areas of connection play an integral role, with a continued eye to promoting immediate and on-going relationships.


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